Experience comes to the fore
Open throated singing and clear diction worked in Sudha Ragunathan’s favour.
Photo: K. V. Srinivasan
Singing the doyen’s favourites: Sudha Raghunathan.
Almost all the pieces that Sudha Ragunathan chose for the Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer Centenary Celebration concert were the doyen’s all-time favourites. This included the Viriboni varnam (Bhairavi, Ata talam) with which she began the concert.
“Siddhi Vinayakam,” a Dikshitar kriti (Chamaram, Rupakam) was next in order preceded by a slokam. Kalpanaswaram in “Prasidha Gananayakam” warmed up Sudha’s voice.
Experienced concert artist
Neatly sequenced niraval and kalpanaswara phrases adorned “Dinamani Vamsa” (Harikhambodi, Adi, Tyagaraja) underlining the singer’s vast experience as a concert artist.
Again it was experience coupled with open throated singing that helped Sudha overcome the problems posed by a sore throat. Clear diction that brought out the beauty of the sahitya made amends for the handicap.
The Sriranjani alapana for the Dikshitar piece, “Sri Ramachandro Rakshatu” (Vasantha, Misrachapu) was structured well. Swarams and niraval for the line, “Sita Kalyana Mahotsavam” was done with precision.
The main piece was “Swararaaga Sudha” (Sankarabaranam, Adi, Tyagaraja). . The bad throat did not stop Sudha from attempting octave ‘jumps’ or Tharasthayi prayogas because of the right kind of voice production.
The other pieces Sudha chose that evening were popular Dasar Padam, Bhavayami (Ragamalika, Rupakam, Swati Tirunal), “Innudaya Barade” (Kalyanavasantam, Kandachapu, Purandaradasa) and Lalgudi Jayaraman’s Thillana (Behag, Adi).
Neyveli Skanda Subramaniam was a great support with his sensitive playing. His precise and appropriate cadences and anticipatory phrases were exemplary.
R. Raman played on the morsing. M.R. Gopinath gave adequate support on the violin.
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